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ABNF J. 2012 Fall;23(4):76-80.

African Americans and health literacy: a systematic review.

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  • 1College of Health Professions, McAuley School of Nursing, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan 48221, USA.


Assessing health literacy is important as it is known to impact health including health behavior, health outcomes, communication with providers, adherence to treatment regimens, and health care costs. African Americans in the United States have lower health literacy than their Caucasian counterparts making a review of current research on this population important. A systematic review of the literature was conducted assessing studies that examined health literacy in African Americans. All articles measured health literacy using the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults, short-form Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults, Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine, and the Newest Vital Sign. A number of databases were searched and yielded a scarcity of health literacy studies that included a majority of African American subjects. Studies addressing this population would potentially lead to interventions aimed at improving health outcomes of African American's.

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